Tips to thwart pickpockets and thieves

Pickpockets lurk in almost every country, and nobody carries more cash and valuable documents on hand than travellers. To prevent getting pickpocketted, keep these tips in mind for your next trip.

Tips to thwart pickpockets and thieves

Thwart pickpockets

A simple safety pin can make your wallet a lot more secure. Put your wallet in a pocket of your trousers or your jacket and close the opening with a safety pin in such a way that you can still squeeze the wallet out — but just barely. The pin is sure to thwart an unsuspecting thief who tries to pickpocket you, since you'll doubtlessly notice the tug.

A fine-toothed wallet protector

If you're a man, a wallet and a comb are two items you're likely to carry at all times. But did you know you could use them in tandem to prevent pickpockets from nabbing your wallet? Place your comb in the fold of your wallet so the teeth extend beyond the open edge; then double-loop a rubber band around the wallet through the comb teeth. When you put the wallet in your pants pocket or the breast pocket of your jacket, the teeth will catch on the fabric when moved. The upshot? When a thief tries to slip the wallet from your pocket, the comb will act as both a barrier and an alarm.

Hidey-holes to outwit thieves

Burglars break into buildings, but garden-variety thieves look for loot anywhere they can find it — like your suitcase, whether it's en route to the cargo hold of a plane or perched on the luggage rack in your hotel room. One way to protect your valuables from theft is to conceal them in unexpected places. Three safe carriers for expensive items are:

  1.  An empty film canister: The size and shape of these containers make them especially convenient for rings and earrings.
  2. A tampon box: Leave some of these products in the top part of the box and stash valuables at the bottom.
  3. A tennis ball: Make a slit along one of the seams and put jewellery and other small valuables inside the ball.

You'll have lots of stories to tell your friends when you come back from your travels, but with these anti-theft tricks up your sleeve, there's one story you won't be telling them — that you lost your wallet to a pickpocket!

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